Christine Pollard is the director of the Functional Orthopedic Research Center of Excellence.

Dec 20, 2018

Christine Pollard, who directs the Functional Orthopedic Research Center of Excellence Laboratory – better known as the FORCE Lab – at Oregon State University - Cascades in Bend will present the lab’s unexpected findings on “maximal” or cushioned running shoes at the next Science Pub Corvallis. 

Her presentation on the popular shoes begins at 6 p.m., Jan. 14, 2019 in the Old World Deli, 341 2nd St. in Corvallis. It is free and open to the public.

The FORCE Lab, whose research focuses on injury prevention in athletes, has now found in two separate studies that maximal running shoes actually provide less functional cushioning than traditional trainers. 

“We were surprised by these results,” said Pollard, an associate professor of kinesiology. “We thought we would see the opposite. We suspect the large amount of cushioning across the entire midsole caused the runners to rely more on the shoe than on their own internal structures to attenuate these forces.”

The research is a first step in gathering evidence on the effects of maximal running shoes on runners’ injury risks, said Pollard, who is also a licensed physical therapist. Maximal shoes are becoming popular, but without controlled studies, clinicians have been unable to make science-based recommendations to runners.

Due to the continuing popularity of Science Pub, attendance will be limited and advance registration will be required. Registration is available online or by calling University Events at 541-737-4717. People who arrive without a ticket are welcome but will not be admitted to the reserved seating area until 6 p.m.

Podcasts of previous Corvallis Science Pub events on topics such as “Technology in the Fields” and “From Wolves to the Warning to Humanity: Facing the Environmental Crisis through Science” are now available on the podcast site.

Images related to this can be found online.

Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s branch campus in Bend, Ore., features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and four graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism and outdoor leadership. The branch campus expanded to a four-year university in fall 2015; its new campus opened in fall 2016.